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Malaga steps up to host knockout stage of Davis Cup Finals

The knockout stage of the Davis Cup Finals will take place in the Spanish city of Malaga in 2022 and 2023, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced.

The event, which will serve as the culmination of the men’s team tournament, will take place at the city’s Palacio de Deportes José María Martín Carpena, an indoor arena with a capacity of 11,300. This year’s tournament will take place from November 21-27.

The Malaga arena had initially been announced as one of four host venues for the group stages of the Finals alongside Bologna’s Unipol Arena, Glasgow’s Emirates Arena and Hamburg’s Am Rothenbaum.

However, after Malaga put forward a “compelling bid” to the ITF, the city has been selected to host the knockout stage. As a result, the ITF will seek a new host venue for the group stage, which takes place from September 14-18.

The bidding process to replace Malaga as a group-stage host is now open, with bids to be submitted by April 21. Cities from the 13 nations which have qualified for the 2022 Finals, but are not already hosting a group stage, are eligible to submit bids: Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, France, Kazakhstan, Korea Republic, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and USA.

In November, it was reported that the Finals of the Davis Cup would be moving to the United Arab Emirates from this year, with a five-year deal said to have been signed by the event’s commercial rights-holder, Kosmos Tennis.

Reports had claimed that Abu Dhabi would serve as the main base for the event but Malaga has now been confirmed as the host for the next two editions at least.

The 2021 Davis Cup Finals featured matches in the Spanish capital of Madrid, Innsbruck in Austria and Turin, Italy. Each city hosted two of the six groups, with Madrid staging two quarter-finals, the semi-finals and final, and Innsbruck and Turin hosting one quarter-final each.

In 2018, Kosmos Tennis, which was founded by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, signed a 25-year agreement with the ITF to invest $3bn (£2.3bn/€2.8bn) into the sport. Last year marked the final year of Madrid’s hosting agreement.

Malaga last hosted a Davis Cup tie in September 2003, when Spain defeated Argentina 3-2.

ITF president David Haggerty said: “The region of Andalucía has played an important role in the history of Davis Cup and Malaga is a perfect venue for the climax of this year’s men’s World Cup of tennis.

“We are looking forward to an intense battle between the world’s best 16 teams this September to reach the knock-out stage for the chance to become world champions in November.”

Davis Cup Finals tournament director Albert Costa added: “Malaga and Andalucía have opened their doors to host the knock-out stage of Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals and we will support them to become the tennis capital of the world hosting the eight best teams in November.

“We will work together with the partners to offer an unforgettable experience to players and fans from all over the world.”

Image: Ricardo Ricote Rodríguez/CC BY 3.0/Edited for size